Army, Air Force, and Navy Revise Hairstyle Regulations

The Army, Air Force, and Navy have all reviewed the newly-implemented hairstyle policies and have agreed to modify both the allowed hairstyles and some of the language used in the regulations themselves.

The controversy began back in April, when soldiers and lawmakers complained that the language used in the regulations governing soldiers' hairstyles' was racist and unfairly targeted African-American soldiers. Some controversy likely came from the old regulations statement that “It is not possible to address every acceptable hairstyle...Therefore, it is the responsibility of leaders...to exercise good judgment in the enforcement of Army policy.” In the updated regulations, some hairstyles that would have likely been allowed were now explicitly banned.

The new revision to regulations will allow members of all three services to wear two-strand twists. Army soldiers can also wear larger braids, cornrows, twists, and ponytails during PT. Sailors can wear multiple braids (that hang freely above the collar and cover the entire head) and airmen can wear French twists and Dutch braids. All three services still prohibit dreadlocks.

The Marine Corps is not yet done with their review, but a preliminary finding calls for the service to authorize twists for medium to long hair.